We’re really leaving…the moving truck packed up all our stuff yesterday and it should be on its way to Fargo today – one more day in Cambridge, and then we follow suit on Saturday morning.
I’m writing this from the 6th floor of Building 46, which is the home of MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. I’m sitting in the Teuber Library, which is one of my favorite places at the Institvte - it’s filled with old, dusty books I probably should read, and PhD theses that their authors probably don’t want me to read. Sitting in front of the big floor-to-ceiling windows in the front half of the library, I realized that it might be true that all the buildings I can see from here weren’t here when I got to MIT (OK, I have to lean a bit to make sure I can’t see Building 40, but let’s not nitpick). Twelve years is a long time and it’s visibly not the same MIT I arrived at when I was 18.
People keep asking me if I’m excited or if I’m sad. The answer’s both and I don’t see how it could be anything else. Leaving here is hard. Blaise and I were reading “Make Way for Ducklings” last night and I realized you can see the tree in the Public Garden where I proposed to Erin in the very first picture of the book. We’ve walked between Harvard and Porter more times than I can even begin to count. We’ve done improv at clubs and bars scattered all over the city. We HEARD the Red Sox win the world series from underground at Park Street. We’ve run all over every inch of campus solving Mystery Hunt puzzles and I’ve run the bridge loops on the Esplanade so many times that I automatically steer towards the good water fountains even when I’m walking.
And of course, there’s Blaise and all the things we’ve loved being able to show her here. We’ll miss the Museum of Science (monkeys!) and the Children’s Museum (bubbles!) immensely. Mr. Bear at Porter Square Books and Mrs. Bear at Henry Bear’s Park got their goodbye hugs a little while ago, and I think one more croissant from Beantowne Coffee will be in order after daycare. Ah, and brunch – the good folks at Johnny D’s will need to see to it that someone else demolishes their pancakes on Saturday mornings and claps and cheers for the guy playing acid-jazz versions of Green Day songs on his guitar.
All this we leave behind, and other things that are both smaller and larger – all the friends who befriended us when we were at our best and took care of us when we were at our worst. The doctors and nurses who saved our daughter. The waiters and managers at our favorite restaurants who noticed B’s feeding pump but didn’t say anything until it was gone and they wanted to tell us how happy they were for her. All her friends at day-care and the teachers who helped Blaise learn to speak her mind and run around like a crazy fool. The colleagues and advisers who gave us room to break on days when we were broken and then let us put things back together in our own time. Wind that’s too strong on the Harvard Bridge. Snow on Mass. Ave. The view from the Red Line going over the Longfellow. The infinite corridor. Smoots.
But y’know what? None of it’s going anywhere. Some of the people will go, some of the places will change, and MIT will build more (and weirder-shaped) buildings after we go. The thing about moving is that we leave behind an amazing place to come back to and we’ll know where to get the best coffee, where to see the coolest stuff, and what friends we’re going to see when we do it. And in the short term, the new adventure begins with labs to build, a new school for Blaise to take over with her charm, and a Christmas tree to put up in Fargo.
So we move on. Madeline and Atka will be belted in beside Blaise tomorrow and we hop our way from Boston to Fargo. It’ll probably be a crazy week or two while we wait for our stuff, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun. For now though, so long Boston – and thanks. We'll leave you with B and I singing a song that she's been pretty into lately - so much so that it's hard not to think she has a better handle on what's happening than you might think. Anyway: enjoy and our next post will probably be from the Dakotas!